Yes, I've had a filter installed. I occasionally stop talking before anyone gets offended. I don't swear in Sunday school, call my classmates names while the instructor is talking, or type every last thing that comes to mind on Facebook. (There are those who may not believe this, but trust me, I filter out a LOT of stuff. Probably not enough, but a lot.) For that matter, I don't blog every last thing that comes to mind, either; you only get the stuff that makes sense and, more importantly, doesn't make me sound like I've been sampling recreational substances.
So, what brought this on? A couple of weeks ago, one of my FB friends who is a college lecturer in real life posted a question on FB during class for her friends to answer: Does your "friends list" (audience) dictate what you write in your facebook status bar? Why?
Most of the responses were "yes", but for a few different reasons. Mine was a "yes", because my filter comes in the shape of a handful of young eyes that I know are watching; if I wouldn't say it with them in the room, then I don't post it on FB. (All evidence to the contrary, I do try to be a good example some of the time.)
Another commenter wrote something to the extent that he doesn't filter anything he says because he wants to be "real". And that annoyed me. I hear "real" and "fake" thrown around, and like most other terms, they don't mean a lot after being so overused.
But I think it is odd to insist that thinking before one speaks (or types) means that one is not being genuine. I assure you, my personality is still intact even if I decide not to angrily retort to a commenter on FB. Rewording my observation of the world to blunt my corrupting influence on the kids I know does not mean I didn't say what I thought (that's the nice thing about words! They are interchangeable!). And choosing not to say something that might offend/hurt someone else is my personal acknowledgment to the universe that I am not, in fact, at its centre, and other people have as much right as myself to go through their day without someone being a jerk to them.
It's not about being "real" or not. It's about common sense. It's about using good judgment. It's about-- heaven forbid-- thinking of someone else's feelings first.
Because that's why I worked so hard to get my hands on a filter.